Dylan Daley: Moving To His Own Beat

This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Florida State University (FSU) freshman and aspiring musician Dylan Daley to talk about his latest album Evergreen which was released earlier this month, as well as his first album Color Theory, the songwriting and production process and his plans and goals for the future.

Her Campus (HC): When did you start becoming interested in music and what inspired this interest?

Dylan Daley (DD): I mostly became interested in middle school when my friend Kevin showed me FL Studio Mobile and I made a whole album on my phone. It was like a pre-Color Theory without all of the synth-pop. It was all over the place genre-wise.

HC: Were you interested before then? Did you play any instruments or sing at the time, too?

DD: I kind of played guitar and I sang a lot because one of my favorite games was rock band but I wasn’t necessarily good at either of those things.

HC: What got you into songwriting and how has your songwriting process changed throughout the years?

DD: This is embarrassing but I guess I really started when Minecraft parodies were popular in like fifth grade.

HC: We all had to start somewhere. What’s your songwriting process like now?

DD: It’s different every time. Most of the time it starts with a melody that just comes to my head and then the composition forms around that as I flesh it out and write lyrics to it. Although, sometimes I’ll try to write about certain subjects or certain ideas that inspire me and so the idea itself kinda leads me.

HC: What was the process like to create your latest album?

DD: It started as an EP because I was really inspired by Joshua Basset and Olivia Rodrigo’s songwriting. Since they’re my age, I was like, “I should be doing this too.” I was originally just going to make a stripped-back acoustic EP with a few new ones and a few acoustic Color Theory songs, but then it kinda became its own thing. I just kept writing and writing and writing, and then it was big enough to be a full album. In the first draft of the album, there were a lot of songs I didn’t really like so as I kept writing, I made new songs and replaced the songs that I didn’t like or the ones that were going to just be acoustic versions with brand new full-fledged songs. Since my production has gotten way better since I made Color Theory, I was able to make the songs way more quickly and make them sound better. It still took so long to perfect each song and there are still some small things I would change or I just didn’t know how to do yet but Evergreen came out a lot more complete vision-wise than Color Theory.

avello at home Photo by Adam Lawrence

HC: How did you improve your production between Evergreen and Color Theory?

DD:  A lot of small things like learning how to master at the right volume and mixing at quieter levels and stuff like giving the instruments their own room and that they’re all in the same frequency. Honestly, just basic things I didn’t know how to do yet during the time of Color Theory.

HC: What inspired the album’s name?

DD: I wanted to make music that was more timeless and that would age better than Color Theory, so I went with a lot of natural vibes and fewer synths just to drive forward the authenticity. I called it Evergreen because of the nature themes and because it’s mostly music that will age well and stay evergreen.

HC: Nice! I’m a fan of that. What’s your favorite song off the album and why?

DD: Daisy because it was really therapeutic to write and it’s like three songs in one, so there’s a lot of variety.

HC: What are your plans and aspirations for the future?

DD: I want to start gigging once the pandemic is handled better. I hope to play shows all around Florida and I’m going to keep making music and working on other projects until then.

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube and Pinterest!